Best Climbing Harness – Expert Review

Updated: February 12, 2024
Best Climbing Harness

What I look for in a climbing harness is good support and weight distribution, lightness, ease of buckling and breathability.

For those reasons, I believe in the Black Diamond Momentum. It provides all of the features and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The Arc’teryx FL-365 isn't cheap, but as a totally epic harness intended for very, very long-term use, I'd invest in it.

As a professional, I'd probably go with my gut on Petzl, and for a good reason - the Sitta is so light, it's just a joy to wear. But if I were just starting out, the Edelrid Jay III would be my beginner harness. It's cheap and offers good comfort with some useful features.

Best Climbing Harness (Top Picks)

BLACK DIAMOND Mens Momentum Climbing Harness, Large, Anthracite

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Best Lightweight

Petzl Corax

PETZL CORAX Harness - Versatile and Fully Adjustable Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering Harness - Blue - Size 1

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BLACK DIAMOND Equipment Solution Harness-Honnold Edtn - Verde - Large

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Top Climbing Harnesses (Detailed Reviews)

We reviewed over 21 climbing harnesses for this article. Below are the best climbing harnesses that made our short list.

  1. Black Diamond Momentum - Best Overall
  2. Petzl Corax - Best Lightweight
  3. Edelrid Jay III
  4. Black Diamond Solution - Best Comfort

Read our complete buyers guide for climbing harnesses.

Best Overall Harnesses

1. Black Diamond Momentum

BLACK DIAMOND Mens Momentum Climbing Harness, Large, Anthracite

4.8/5 Overall Rating

The Black Diamond Momentum is one of the best all-rounder harnesses on the market and at an extremely attractive price.

In fact, the Black Diamond Momentum is just as good, if not better than some of is more expensive competitors. The harness is designed to be used everywhere from indoor climbing routes to outdoor sports routes.

The harness’ Duel Core Construction helps to distribute your weight evenly and gives you the perfect combination of support and lightness.

Maximum breathability is achieved through the quick-drying Openair waist belt that encases a supportive insert between two separate bands of webbing.

The harness uses a Speed Adjust buckle which saves time and eliminates the chance of making a mistake when tying in.

The TrakFIT leg loops are fully adjustable, which is great when you have to accommodate extra layers of clothing when alpine or ice climbing.

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Main Features
  • Duel Core Construction (foam)
  • Quick-drying Openair waist belt 
  • Speed Adjust buckle
  • TrakFIt Adjustable leg loops
  • 4 pressure-molded gear loops
  • Sturdy haul loop
What we like
  • Adjustable
  • Affordable
  • Simple and easy leg loop adjustment buckles
  • Rigid and flat gear loops
What we dislike
  • Bulky
  • Small gear loops
Key Takeaway

Black Diamond Momentum harness is affordable and comes packed with features. It is he best all-rounder harness you can get. Besides being a bit on the bulky side, it is a definite winner.

2. Petzl Corax

PETZL CORAX Harness - Versatile and Fully Adjustable Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering Harness - Blue - Size 1

4.8/5 Overall Rating

The Petzl Corax is a high-end technical harness for professionals that gives climbers total freedom of movement. 

At 275 grams, the Petzl Corax is remarkably light. This harness is geared towards anything from gym climbing to trad multipitch and ice climbing, offering maximum comfort and compactness in a lightweight package.

The design allows for optimal weight distribution while you climb. It has two double back buckles on the waist belt, enabling perfect centering of the belay loop and gear loops around the waist, as well as adjustable leg loops to enable precision fit, even over heavy layers of clothing. 

The super sleek design focuses on compactness and the bonded fabric helps to avoid pressure points and offers optimal wear resistance.

Because of the nature of the harness, it has minimal gear loops and features practical details like separated gear loops and a leg loop height adjuster.

It's also extremely portable with two rigid gear loops in the front angled to easily rack and access gear, as well as two roomy, flexible gear loops in the rear which stay low and out of the way of a backpack.

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Main Features
  • EVA foam
  • Fixed leg loops
  • Wireframe technology (Spectra)
  •  Flexible gear loops
What we like
  • Very lightweight with a premium Petzl build
  • Super packable
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Mobile and versatile
What we dislike
  • Only comes in 2 sizes
  • Not as comfortable for prolonged hanging
Key Takeaway

The Petzl Corax is a lightweight high-end harness with a top shelf price tag. This harness would not be recommended for casual climbers.

3. Edelrid Jay III

EDELRID Jay III Climbing Harness - Men's Green Pepper Medium

4/5 Overall Rating

The Edelrid Jay III is the ideal generalist and top beginner harness you can find. It combines good comfort and great features at an attractive price. 

The harness is stable and supportive and has adjustable leg loops for full customization.

The sliding belt design, which allows the main belt to slide through the frame of the padding, helps to keep your gear and belay loops centered.

The harness has a lower tie-in point which is bolstered by a rigid plastic semicircle which makes the harness a little more durable.

The Edelrid Jay III is best for sport or trad climbing and utilises 3D mesh padding to give your harness extra support. It also has glider buckles on the waist belt and leg loops which allow for adjustments.

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Main Features
  • Sliding belt design
  • Lower tie-in point 
  • Abrasion protector at tie-in point
  • Attachment for ice screw clips 
  • 3D mesh padding 
  • Fit for larger waist sizes
  • 4 gear loops
  • Adjustable leg loops
What we like
  • Well-constructed
  • Highly adjustable
  • Versatile and durable
What we dislike
  • Not lightweight or packable
Key Takeaway

The Edelrid Jay III is the perfect beginner climbing harness as well as being wonderfully affordable. Its main hinderance is its weight, but at such a great price it is a small price to pay.

4. Black Diamond Solution

BLACK DIAMOND Equipment Solution Harness-Honnold Edtn - Verde - Large

4/5 Overall Rating

The Black Diamond Solution, which is a favorite for sport climbing, is known for its unrivalled comfort and affordable price.

It utilises Fusion Comfort Construction, a design that employs three very thin strips of webbing spread out through the waist belt and leg loops to help diffuse pressure on the back, hips and hamstrings. The design moves with your body while providing load distribution and comfort.

The leg loops and waist belt are wide for support and comfort and the material is quick-drying and breathable.

Although incredibly comfortable, the Black Diamond Solution does come with a few downsides, the minimal gear loops and lack of haul loop mean the harness is not a good choice for long-free or alpine climbs.

But if you are looking for the best sport climbing harness, the Black Diamond Solution is the best you can get.

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Main Features
  • Fusion Comfort Construction 
  • Fixed leg loops
  • 4 gear loops
  • Wide leg loops and waist belt
What we like
  • Unrivalled comfort 
  • Super light
  • Affordable
What we dislike
  • Small gear loops
  • Not versatile for other styles of climbing
Key Takeaway

The Black Diamond Solution is the most comfortable harness you can buy. But it is best for sport climbing and may not be a great choice for other types of climbing.

Climbing Harness Buyer's Guide

Below is information on what you want to consider before you purchase a climbing harness to ensure you make the right choice for your personal climbing needs.


Different harnesses are used for different climbing sub-disciplines.

Alpine Rock

You will want a harness that is durable, has large gear loops, a haul loop and maybe even ice clipper slots.

Big Wall 

These harnesses tend to be pricier, as they will have all the bells and whistles.


You will be looking for a harness that is comfortable, durable and inexpensive. You will not need a bunch of fancy features with a gym harness, however, you will want a harness that has good padding.


A mountaineering harness should be minimalistic, lightweight and easy to get on and off. You will also want a harness to be comfortable to walk in.


Like a mountaineering harness, you will want a minimalistic harness that allows for freedom of movement. Smaller gear loops won’t be a huge issue.


These will be more full-featured harnesses. They will need to have at least 4 gear loops and a rear haul loop along with a wide waist belt and leg loops.

Size & Compfort

Having a well-fit harness is absolutely critical for safety while you climb. The waist belt shouldn’t slide over your hips if you were to flip upside down.

The comfort of your harness can greatly improve your climbing experience.

Leg Loops

Leg loops will either be fixed or adjustable. Many people prefer fixed leg loops at they are less bulky, lighter and easy to take off and put on. But fixed leg loops may not be suitable for all body types. Adjustable leg loops are best if you don’t fit comfortably in fixed leg loops. Adjustable leg loops also make it easier to layer clothes.

Gear Loops

Gear loops make climbing life more convenient. It is essential to have at least 4 gear loops if you will be climbing outdoors to ensure you have easy access to all your equipment. You’ll want larger, sturdier loops.


The weight you want your harness to be comes down to personal preference, but a lot of people prefer lightweight, less bulky harnesses.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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